“All the children living in “Campo”, in more ways than none,
have had experienced for once, or much, in their lives
what it means to have a happy childhood memories”
(Photo credits to the owner – Leslie Lagcao Edquilang-Benlot)
In typical working days, different people with different job were busily preparing for their day’s tasks as early as 4 or 5 o’clock in the morning inside ‘Campo”. Workers who were at the same time parents of 3 to 6 years olds divided their little morning hours doing various tasks such as household chores, preparing “balon sa pamahaw ug paniudto”, readying some tools and of course arranging the clothes and things of their youngster(s) in going to meet their “Titser” at the Child Minding Center (CMC).
“Titser” was really was a teacher. She was professionally-trained at Montessori system financed by the management of Davao Fruits Corporation (DFC) to provide structural learning methods to children of workers of the banana plantation. Everyone, I mean from her pupils to the parents and even to all non-parents working at DFC, called her “Titser” at any given time and place, and very well respected toddler education facilitator to young kids even from outside the DFC system, meaning from the people as far as teachers in the central elementary school of the town to employees of the local government, local business people, among others. She was Titser Vangie Camarillo.
Child Minding Center was a no nonsense educational facility. Equipped with various tools such as blocks, clays, crayons, rubberized mattings, individual baby chairs, walled educational posters, sound system, miniature musical instruments, playground, fully-furnished building structure, rest room, workshop station, books, magazines, blackboard, among many others, the pupils enjoyed the day’s lessons from listening to the teach-in sessions of “Titser”, to group recitals of nursery rhymes, singing, playing, siesta and of course, most of the time although there were times it was not provided, eating merienda. And to add sweetness to more icing of the cake, field trips. The pupils, together with their parents who I suppose were more excited than their children, were brought to as far as the company’s airstrip at Cogonon, New Bataan all the way to Davao City and experienced, seen for themselves the real world of life, leisure, business, people, places and events. To top them all, friendship and camaraderie were the all days’ greatest prizes.
Designed as a drop-in center for children of workers, the toddler/kindergarten school was established to provide the kids preparatory learning experiences with guaranteed fun and excitement, every school day, in preparation for the formal basic education, elementary school. All the children living in “Campo”, in more ways than none, have had experienced for once, or much, in their lives what it means to have a happy childhood memories.
For being one of the product of CMC, and the rest of us, dreams and ambitions started therein. As Robert Fulghum in his classic book “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”, write “I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience.” In that same immortal masterpiece of Fulghum, I believe that the title was very well crafted and chosen because essential things in adult lives were not only learned by during that adult life’s experiences but these essentials were taught as early as kindergarten classes like we had at CMC. The teachings about respect to one another, love for country, not hitting other people physically and otherwise, hope for humanity, developing and enhancing one’s skills, knowledge and attitude, playing fairly, cleaning our own mess, taking enough rests, living life as a combination of prayer, work and play, problems and challenges do exist, there is downside in life and the need to bounce back, everyone is not immune from mistakes and misdeeds and the need to learn from them, ideals and aspirations are inevitable, standing strongly to what we believe is right, among other lessons kindergarten schools taught us. These are too numerous to count them all.
What have I believe and became today, more of them were product of my childhood memories from “Campo” and CMC. Equally important of my physical, mental, emotional, physical and spiritual learning and understanding, are the values and soft-skills which are my weapons to take part in making my community/town prosper, together with the people live and sourced their family’s living therein, economically, politically and culturally.
Banking on the NBA’s slogan “This is why we play”, this is why I write, and keep the faith.